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Reading Medicine
Clinical Sciences Library
Newcombe, L. The Library of University College London 1826-1926.
[unpublished typescript, c1926].
Abuses at University College [Letter]. Lancet. 1849; 53:676-677
Early medical libraries at UCL
Detail from Sir Charles Bell's Engravings of the Arteries (2nd ed., 1806)
Detail from Sir Charles Bell's Engravings of the Arteries (2nd ed., 1806).
Newcombe recorded that from the beginning there was a Medical Library at UCL, with £150 being made available in 1829 to set it up. Located initially in a room near the Anatomy Theatre it moved to what later became the Union Society's Lounge in 1838, with a relatively spacious capacity for 90 readers. A proposal in 1849 to combine the medical collections with those for Arts and Laws was rejected; indeed a correspondent to the Lancet was outraged that noisy arts students or "boys in jackets" might share a library with the medics, protesting that "to study in any library with such companions is quite impossible". The Medical Library remained, with collections covering all aspects of medicine and the medical sciences, until the division of pre-clinical and clinical studies over 70 years later.

At the point of UCL's incorporation with the University of London in 1905, the clinical part of the medical course gained a new, separate identity with the Hospital. The following year the Faculty of Medicine divided into the Faculty of Medical Sciences (remaining in UCL) and the Faculty of Advanced Medical Studies which became the University College Hospital Medical School (UCHMS). With this division the Medical Library collections separated and the clinical materials moved to the new library in the Medical School building in 1907.

Plan showing the location of UCL's Medical Library from 1838-1907 (the Haldane Room occupies this space today).

Plan showing the location of UCL's Medical Library from 1838-1907 (the Haldane Room occupies this space today).
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Plan showing the location of UCL's Medical Library until 1838.
Plan showing the location of UCL's Medical Library until 1838.
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Last modified 22 May 2007

 
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